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Community "numbed" by death of mother-of-two (49) in Lough Erne

 St Mary's Church, Drumragh
Marie Louise McConville

Mourners at the funeral of a mother-of-two who drowned in Lough Erne have heard that her tragic death has left the whole community "numbed".

Annette Preston, from Clanabogan in Co Tyrone, died early on Saturday after she fell off a boat while trying to reach a jetty in Enniskillen shortly before 3am.

The 49-year-old, who was an experienced sailor, was on board with her husband and two children, a 17-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son, when the accident happened.

Mrs Preston and her husband both lost their footing and fell into Lough Erne as they were attempting to get from their boat to the pier at the Round 'O' Jetty in the town.

A man who was nearby managed to pull Mr Preston to safety but was unable to reach Mrs Preston.

Family and friends of the mother-of-two came together yesterday at St Mary's Church, Drumragh for her funeral.

Monsignor Joseph Donnelly told those gathered that Mrs Preston's "extended family and a whole community have been left numbed by this unexpected, sudden and tragic death".

"It is, of course, the bereaved husband and family who suffer most from the sudden loss," he said.

Those gathered heard that Mrs Preston's life "centred" around her husband and children.

"She was always a hard worker and a great lover of nature," said Monsignor Donnelly.

"Her kindly nature extended also to animals who seemed to sense that they were welcome in her company.

"Annette got great enjoyment in their caravan for years. She looked forward to the time spent there and had equal enthusiasm for the boat on Lough Erne. They planned to cruise the Shannon next year".

He added: "The tragedy of the last few days contrasts very much with Annette’s bubbly nature and sense of fun".

"We may search for answers and just be left at a loss".

Mrs Preston was laid to rest in Drumragh Cemetery.

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